Action Preserves and Protects Regulatory Framework
News Release, Maryland Department of Agriculture
ANNAPOLIS, MD—The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) today announced that it will develop regulations to immediately phase out the regular use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide used in agricultural production and turf management. The department will engage agricultural leaders, environmental advocates and farmers to identify a solution that addresses all parties’ interests while preserving the established regulatory authority for pesticide use.
“In light of the department’s ongoing conversations with farmers, I have directed MDA to convene all interested stakeholders and begin the process of crafting reasonable and responsible regulations that will accelerate the phase-out of chlorpyrifos,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “This is in the best interest of the agriculture industry and the environment, and will protect the independence and integrity of our robust science-based regulatory framework while providing farmers time to identify alternative or replacement products.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets national standards for the sale and use of individual pesticide products. These decisions are determined by an exhaustive, science-based review process. MDA works closely with the EPA to enforce its regulations and provides educational support to ensure that these products are used responsibly and safely by farmers and licensed applicators. This regulatory solution keeps that authority within the federal and state agencies responsible for pesticide regulation.
The move toward an accelerated phase-out of chlorpyrifos is in step with similar actions in other states and the private industry. Earlier this month, Corteva Agriscience, a major manufacturer of crop protection products, announced that it would cease production and sales of chlorpyrifos by the end of 2020. This decision follows use data in Maryland that shows a sharp decline in the use of chlorpyrifos since the 1990s.